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Diplomacy (Cha)

Use this skill to persuade the chamberlain to let you see the king, to negotiate peace between feuding barbarian tribes, or to convince the ogre mages that have captured you that they should ransom you back to your friends instead of twisting your limbs off one by one. Diplomacy involves etiquette, social grace, tact, subtlety, and a way with words. A skilled character knows the formal and informal rules of conduct, social expectations, proper forms of address, and so on. This skill represents the ability to give others the right impression of yourself, so negotiate effectively and to influence others.

Check: You can change the attitudes of others (nonplayer characters) with a successful Diplomacy check; see Influencing NPC Attitudes (below), for basic DCs. (The Dungeon Master's Guide has more information on influencing NPCs.) In negotiations, participants roll opposed Diplomacy checks, and the winner gains the advantage. Opposed checks also resolve situations when two advocates or diplomats plead opposite cases in a hearing before a third party

Action: Changing others' attitudes with Diplomacy generally takes at least 1 full minute (10 consecutive full-round actions). In some situations, this time requirement may greatly increase. A rushed Diplomacy check (such as an attempt to head off a fight between two angry warriors) can be made as a full-round action, but you take a -10 penalty on the check.

Try Again: Optional, but not recommended because retries usually do not work. Even if the initial Diplomacy check succeeds, the other character can be persuaded only so far, and a retry may do more harm than good. If the initial check fails, the other character has probably become more firmly committed so his position, and a retry is futile.

Special: A half-elf has a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks, thanks to her ability to relate well to others.

If you have the Negotiator feat, you get a +2 bonus on Diplomacy checks.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, Knowledge (nobility and royalty), or Sense Motive, you get a +2 bonus on Diplomacy checks.

Influencing NPC Attitudes

Use the table below to determine the effectiveness of Diplomacy checks (or Charisma checks) made to influence the attitude of a nonplayer character, or wild empathy checks made to influence the attitude of an animal or magical beast. The Dungeon Master's Guide has more information on NPC attitudes.

For example, if a character encounters a nonplayer character whose initial attitude is hostile, that character needs to get a result of 20 or higher on a Diplomacy check (or Charisma check) to change that NPC's attitude. On any result less than 20, the NPC's attitude is unchanged. On a result of 20 to 24, the NPC's attitude improves to unfriendly.

Initial AttitudeNew Attitude (DC to Achieve)
HostileLess than 2020253550
UnfriendlyLess than 55152540
Indifferent-Less than 111520
Friendly--Less than 1120
Helpful---Less than 11
AttitudeMeansPossible Actions
HostileWill take risks to hurt youAttack, interfere, berate, flee
UnfriendlyWishes you illMislead, gossip, avoid, watch suspiciously, insult
IndifferentDoesn't much careSocially expected interaction
FriendlyWishes you wellChat, advise, offer limited help, advocate
HelpfulWill take risks to help youProtect, back up, heal, aid

Expanded Description - Complete Adventurer

You can haggle over prices with a merchant or mediate between disagreeing groups, finding a solution to a diplomatic or legal matter that is satisfactory to everyone regardless of background.

Haggle: You can use the Diplomacy skill to bargain for goods or services, including those of a magical nature. When discussing the sale of an item or service, you can attempt to lower the asking price with a Diplomacy check made to influence NPC attitudes (see the sidebar on page 72 of the Player's Handbook). If you manage to adjust the vendor's attitude to helpful (most vendors begin as indifferent), the vendor lowers the asking price by 10%. Add the vendor's Diplomacy check modifier to the DC needed to achieve the result. For example, to adjust the attitude of an indifferent vendor with a Diplomacy modifier of +3 to friendly, you must achieve a result of 33 or higher on your Diplomacy check (a base chance of 30, +3 for target's Diplomacy modifier). If you worsen the vendor's attitude, the vendor refuses to sell anything to you at this time. The DM is the final arbiter of any sale of goods and should discourage abuse of this option if it is slowing the game down too much.

Action: Haggling requires at least 1 full minute, as normal for a Diplomacy check.

Try Again: You can't retry a Diplomacy check to haggle.

Mediate: In order to mediate a disagreement, you must succeed in adjusting each group's attitude to friendly or better toward the other party in the negotiation. Make a Diplomacy check as normal for influencing NPC attitudes, but add the group leader's Diplomacy check modifier to the DC needed to achieve the result. For example, to adjust the attitude of an unfriendly group led by an individual with a Diplomacy modifier of +7 to friendly, you would need to roll a result of 32 or higher on your Diplomacy check (a base chance of 25, +7 for target's Diplomacy modifier). If your check result is less than 12 (a base chance of less than 5, +7 for target's Diplomacy modifier), the target's attitude worsens to hostile. The DC increases by 5 if the two parties are of different cultures or races.

Action: Mediation is a long process and cannot often be rushed successfully. Each check requires a full day of game time. You can take a -10 penalty on the check if you wish to attempt a mediation in an hour instead of a day (such as staving off an impending battle).

Try Again: As long as both sides aren't hostile (that is, as long as at least one side remains unfriendly or better), you can retry a Diplomacy check made to mediate a disagreement. If both parties become hostile at any time after the first check is made, you can't retry the check.

Skills Index
Character Creation